Rapids and Ciao Telecom, lacking communication…

The phrase, “You can’t win for losing” apparently goes for the Rapids off the field as well as on the field. According to Denver Post reporter Daniel Boniface The Rapids are suing the parent company of kit sponsor Ciao Telecom for missed sponsorship payments. Story here.

ciao

This seems fitting for the Rapids who as a team have had their share of bad luck in 2014. First losing their coach in Oscar Pareja who left the team to return to his beloved FC Dallas. The team had numerous injuries it seems all season. Having ended the regular season last weekend with a current 14 game winless streak going back to July 25. Now this is added to the list of problems the club has experienced. Ciao TeleCom, the team’s first jersey sponsor in club history, signed earlier this season is now being sued by the club for missed sponsorship payments.

Sounds to me like someone with the Rapids front office didnt do all the necessary research of Ciao TeleCom and their financial situation prior to bringing them on as their jersey sponsor. Or maybe someone with Ciao’s parent company did a really good job of hiding the truth about their financials. We’ll see how this plays out in the coming weeks. As of right now the Ciao TeleCom logo is still present on the Rapids website.

The other thing I took from this article was the Rapids being the 3 worst average attendance this season at just over 15 thousand this season, ahead of San Jose and Chivas USA. Chivas opens a new stadium next season, so their attendance numbers will rise and Chivas USA is no more, so imagine where that leaves the Rapids next season with attendance after coming off a poor 2014 season? The other thing I took from this is the mentioning of the number of season ticket holders that have renewed for next season at 80% so far of 5400 from the previous, then saying that they have 500 new season ticket holders going into next season. Call me a little skeptical about those numbers one week after the end of the regular season. I hope I’m wrong and the numbers greatly increase despite a forgettable 2014 season.

Let’s go Rapids!

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What the shutdown of Chivas USA means for the Rapids…

There isnt a whole lot that the disbanding of Chivas USA means for the Rapids but here are a couple of things that come to mind. Initially it means the climb to the top of Western Conference just got a whole lot harder with the realignment of Houston and Sporting KC coming back over from the Eastern Conference. There are lots of variables that have yet to be played out in all of this leading up to and into next season, the dispersal draft of the Chivas USA roster, the expansion draft, etc, etc. The Rapids roster as we know it will look different somewhat going into the 2015 season, hopefully not too drastically different and hopefully for the better.

Sporting KC returning to the Western Conference means we will be seeing more of them now, and that the chance of a second close regional rivalry can build between these two clubs, like what we have in the opposite direction with Real Salt Lake. We’ll have to wait and see how things shape up on the field in building that rivalry.

It can also mean that at least on paper as of right now today, the Rapids have a good chance at probably being the doormat of the western conference in 2015. That doesnt necessarily mean that they’re the worse team in the conference in terms of talent, far from that. But the Rapids have shown that they’re probably the worst in the conference in terms of using and developing the talent on the roster to go out and win games, as we saw throughout a majority of the 2014 campaign. Certainly a step back from the 2 seasons under Pareja prior. Let’s hope Pablo learns a lot this offseason on his trip to England later this year to Arsenal.

Rapids featured in NY Times story on salaries and the love of the game…

Good article in the N.Y. Times about the disparity of salaries in MLS and how many in the league play for the love of the game despite poor minimum salaries. The article features Rapids goalkeepers, Clint Irwin, Joe Nasco and John Berner. Story here.

The Full 90 – Whitecaps FC vs Rapids observations…

Well the season has finally officially come to an end. The Rapids drop the season finale to the Whitecaps 1-0. This I have to say was the best effort overall in both halves put together by the Rapids during the now 14 game winless streak. That’s not to say there wasn’t some areas where the team could improve.

Possession was horrible, 40%. Passing wasnt much better. Too many balls being played over the top into no waiting Rapids player and into the opposing team. The midfield needs someone who can possess the ball, move it and start the attack. Defense was much better as a whole in this game even after losing Marvell Wynne to injury. The exception of course being the set piece the Whitecaps scored on a header in the 18. Which brings me to Zat Knight. Please let’s go ahead now and shelve the Zat Knight experiment. Sure we maybe needed the experience on the back line due to injuries a few weeks ago, but in the 3.5 matches he’s played in, he’s provided nothing of any positive aspect to the team. Clearly Knight at 6’6″, 225 and as the captain he should have been marking the Whitecaps Kendall Waston (6’5″, 215) inside the 18 and not Deshorn Brown. A captain needs to see the situation and make those decisions.

I love Eloundou up top, hopefully he will see more time with the first team in 2015. He seems to be the one forward who consistently makes good runs on and off the ball, making himself a threat on the offensive side. Deshorn is still the bigger scoring threat on the team but Eloundou is a breath of fresh air in the attacking third.

I hope Drew Moor isn’t getting too comfortable in his after playing days role as a media personality while he’s been out. He’s done podcasts, video and tonight was behind the desk with Marcelo and Fleming in the Rapids pre and post game. He certainly looks comfortable in that role, but let’s not rush him to retirement just yet.

2014 is done for the Rapids as we start to look forward to following the MLS playoffs. The Rapids have a ton of questions to answer in the offseason to say the least.

Rapids hit an all time low…MLS/Rapids beat writer Bianchi fired…

As if the lack of positive results on the field weren’t bad enough, it seems as if the Rapids front office is getting in the act of producing bad results as well. Former MLS/Rapids and Denver Post beat writer Chris Bianchi tells the story of his recent firing and how the Rapids front office, specifically Tim Hinchey may be involved. Read the full story here.

Here Keith Olbermann sums it all up in the Rapids Tim Hinchey making Olbermann’s “worst persons in the sports world” segment coming at the 1:27 mark. Way to go Hinchey, not the type of publicity you want for yourself or the club!

video credit – Keith Olbermann youTube channel

The Full 90 – Rapids vs FC Dallas observations…

There’s not much more that can be said that hasnt already been said before, as the Rapids lose again this afternoon to FC Dallas 1-0, extending their winless streak to now 13 games.

Todays starting lineup was nowhere near similar to last week’s lineup at Chivas USA, one exception of Vicente Sanchez starting in place of Charles Eloundou. Powers is not starting up top as a forward this week as he did last week. He was back to his midfield position. Wynne and Klute were back to their regular starting positions on the back line. Few similarities from the previous week was Irwin again back in net for the 3rd straight game and Zat Knight was wearing the captain’s armband for the second consecutive game.

The Rapids dominated possession with 57%, but were outshot 9 to 6. Jared Watts red card in the 79th minute of the second half didnt help the Rapids cause any, leaving the team to play down a man with 10. There was a Davey Armstrong sighting, who came into the game for Dillon Powers in the 80th minute. The substitution of Charles Eloundou in for Deshorn Brown in the 89th minute was stupid by Pablo. FC Dallas were the more physical team I felt, even though it seemed like every few minutes FC Dallas did their best Sporting KC impersonation with player on the ground “injured” after a little contact.

Defensively the team played better, if for no other reason that they didnt give up a goal from open play. The penalty kick for FC Dallas on a handball by Klute was the only reason FC Dallas were able to score.

The home season is now done for the Rapids and on fan appreciation day an announced crowd was just over 15000, really was not bad for a team playing as bad as the Rapids have been playing. There were a good number of FC Dallas fans in attendance aside from the El Matador supporters in section 100. Centennial 38 seemed louder today, which is always a good thing.

The Rapids finish out the season next Saturday at Vancouver with a chance to again get the most elusive win and to end the season on a positive. Let’s go Rapids!

The Full 90 – Rapids vs Sounders FC observations…

On paper, this was a definite win for the Sounders no matter how you look at it. But as the old saying goes, the games arent played on paper. It’s probably a good thing the games arent played on paper, because the score wouldv’e been worse than the 4-1 beating the Rapids were handed Sunday afternoon. The Rapids are officially out of the playoffs after Sundays loss to the Sounders.

Defense, defense, defense! Where was the defense? I know it’s a question we’ve been asking the last few weeks and again Sunday. As many would agree, it was great to see Clint Irwin back between the pipes, though his back line in front of him didnt do a whole lot to help the cause. Irwin did make a few nice saves, but he cant save everything and the defense needs to be better, we all can agree. I dont know if Nasco or Berner would have fared any better in net. I still believe Irwin gives us the best chance in net overall.

It was also great to get a first look at the newly acquired 6’6″ 225lbs, Zat Knight in the second half of the game. I will say that despite Wynne’s mistake on a goal given up in the first half, that I do question Pablo’s substitution of Knight coming in for Wynne. Knight is a wall of a defender in his size alone and he’s not gonna be as quick as when Dempsey or Martins come speeding into the 18. Since it seems like Pablo has given up on the remainder of the season and is experimenting with lineups, I say why not leave your speediest defender (Wynne) on the field with Knight at the same time?

Here are a few photos I took from Saturday.

Offensively the team seemed to be missing a gear. Passing was slow, sloppy and misdirected(I’m looking at you LaBrocca, though you weren’t the only one!). There were some bright spots and some chances created. Good to see Torres get his second consecutive start also.

The team heads to Chivas for the final time (maybe for good). Chivas won their game over Salt Lake on Sunday ending their 12 game winless streak and are gonna come into this weekend’s match hungry to put together consecutive wins. This is the game the Rapids desparetely need to end their own 11 game winless streak, of course I thought that same thing before the San Jose game last weekend prior too.

Go Rapids!!!

Powers signs extension…

I’m not one to give Paul Bravo a ton of credit with this team, but what I will give him credit for is signing our young talent to extensions with the club. As we saw was the case towards the end of last season and is again happening with Dillon Powers signing what is said to be a 3 year extension, though the Rapids dont disclose contract information publicly. Thank you Dillon Powers for your time so far and in the future with the Rapids!

Who’s next to get an extension?

While on the subject of Mr Bravo, on the coloradorapids.com website is an interview with Bravo on his role with the club and his love for the Rapids. Article here.